If you’re new to the Paleo/Primal lifestyle, one of the first things you gave up/are going to give up is bread. Sound like a tragedy? I promise you it’s not.
Paleo and Gluten
If you haven’t heard by now about all of the evils of gluten, I’m going to give you a little run-down of it now. For starters, it’s extremely inflammatory. It increases gut permeability, thereby letting toxins and undigested foods into the blood stream. This not only inhibits digestion and nutrient absorption, it also sets off an immune reaction as the body attacks the misplaced food particles.
Inflammation is a large part of this immune reaction, but it’s only meant to be used occasionally. People who make bread a regular part of their diets suffer from chronic inflammation, and that has been connected to a number of dangerous health issues, including high blood pressure and even organ failure.
Paleo and Carbohydrates
Aside from the issue of gluten, bread is extremely high in carbohydrates and low in nutrients. Our bodies take the carbohydrates from bread and digest it just like they digest table sugar. Our bodies can’t tell the difference between the two. In fact, two slices of whole wheat bread is equivalent to 10 teaspoons of sugar.
Part of living a Paleo lifestyle is maintaining steady blood sugar levels. By avoiding the spikes in blood sugar, we also avoid the crashes, which tend to leave us tired and craving more sugar. Eating foods that contain the equivalent of ten teaspoons of sugar is not going to help us avoid that spike and subsequent crash. By choosing a lettuce wrap or a salad over that sandwich, we are able to stay fuller longer, often lasting all afternoon and maybe even into the evening before we get hungry again, not to mention getting an extra dose of vitamins, minerals, and immune-boosting anti-oxidants from all those vegetables!
If you just can’t live without bread, there are some alternatives in our Paleo Breads section. Just be sure to indulge occasionally, rather than every day.